He said he was still in favour of what has hitherto always been our principle
and the principle of international law since I don't know when^ perhaps the
15th century—that annexation, territorial changes, should all wait for the
end of hostilities. But he then went on to say that anything in Poland east
of the e Curzon Line ' ought to go and that it was a pity that Wilno had
ever been Polish territory and so on. I think we should be awful idiots in
the House if we got on to where the * Line ' should be drawn.
Mr. Gallacher (Communist) : . . . The other night when we had a
so-called Brains Trust at the Central Hall, someone asked c; Has Poland to
be thrown to the wolves ? " I answered that I was prepared to trust the
Soviet people and the Soviet Government to assist the Polish people to get
rid of the wolves which had ravaged the land for centuries. There was not
in Europe a more poverty-stricken and illiterate peasantry than the Polish
Mr. Wragg : Were they any worse than the Russian peasantry ?
Mr. Gallacher : Even worse than the Russian peasants were under the
Tsars. There was not in Europe such a miserable, poverty-stricken,
illiterate people as Polish people.
Captain Graham : It is all the more strange, therefore, that that nation
should have remained so completely united throughout history and that it is
proving so difficult to find even enough Communists in that country to
form a bogus Polish Government. In fact, they have to be brought from
the United States and one or two from here.
Mr. Gallacher: You have to understand that long before there was
Fascism in Germany., there was Fascism in Poland and the Communists
Captain Graham : Will the hon. gentleman explain what he means by
" Fascism " ? I have heard of it in Italy but not in any other country.
Mr. Gallacher: Under Pilsudski there was no question about the
Fascist character of Poland, and there is no question of what happened to
the Communists there. They were massacred.*
Captain Graham : They were never massacred.
Sir Edward Grigg (Conservative) : . . . Does the House remember—this
is a very recent issue—that we guaranteed Czecho-Slovakia after the Munich
surrender ? What use was that to Czecho-Slovakia ? We proceeded to
guarantee Poland and Rumania. What was the use of that to Poland and
Rumania ? High principles, certainly ; but a "stumer" cheque all the same.
I agree that Poland in this matter is the test case. Like3 I am sure3 all
other Members^ I feel that we cannot pay too high a tribute to Polish
endurance and heroism in this struggle. The Poles have done magnificently
in the underground resistance movement in Poland—I do not believe there
has been a single Polish Quisling—and they have done magnificently fighting
by our side elsewhere. There is nothing that could be said that would be
too high praise for the gallant Polish people. But the Polish people^ like
another great people nearer home3 have one great faulty an inveterate
historical memory. Their history is a terrible history; all the same, I
think it would be wise for them to remember at the present time that history
is many-sided; that every nation has its own version^ and is quite convinced
that that version is the only right one.
* Mr. Gallacher had simply reversed the facts. Even Moscow propaganda had never
stated that there had been an * extermination* of some of the Communists in
Poland. This extermination mentioned had been carried out by the Comintern
who dissolved the Polish Communist Party and executed those Polish Communists
who were still in Russia. A further * purge * amongst the ex-Polish Communists
was begun in Eastern Poland after the Soviet invasion of that country in 1939.